Table of Contents Hide
OUR favorite Carl Ocab is no longer 13 and the @kidblogger: he is himself. And he wants to share the lessons he learned.
Ocab was a first-year high-school student when he started his business at the age of 13. As the number of clients grew, he hired people after he graduated from college in 2015. Today, he employs a team of web designers, a team of web-site developers and a team of content writers.
A self-taught computer programmer who had been making money already for years before he set foot in college, he took and finished Psychology at San Beda College Alabang.
Cited by Forbes as one of the top young innovators and leaders in Asia in 2017, Ocab pointed to clear messaging and quality web-site performance as the main factors that helped his online marketing business to grow.
AN enterprise’s web site should offer the customer an eye-catching, clear and easily executable direction right on the homepage, said Ocab, who made it to Forbes magazine’s top 30 young leaders in the region in the magazine’s “media, marketing and advertising” category.
“If you are a coffee shop, the customers expect to see your location, contact details, products and sometimes the prices once they arrive at your web site,” he said.
Based on his years of experience, Ocab said that some enterprises offer no clear message and direction on their homepage. Usually, the customer does not know what to do.
“Without a clear direction, the customer cannot move further after arriving at your web site,” he said. “In a way, you have to be a shepherd for your web site’s visitors.”
The customer should instantly be provided an idea about what are being offered; otherwise, he may get bored and leave the web site unhappy, he added.
The message and purpose should be clearly established first prior to designing and developing the web site, Ocab noted. The design and user interface should follow said message and purpose.
A good web site can be easily navigated by all ages under different circumstances.
“Your web site should be foolproof, so that even a fool can use it,” he said.
The web site should be result-driven, not just looks, he added.
PEOPLE are more impatient when dealing with an enterprise online than when in an eye-to-eye situation due to many available options, Ocab pointed out.
The 23-year-old digital marketing services provider also attributed strong online marketing to quality web-site performance.
Customers are not happy about a web site that loads pages at a snail’s pace, which is disastrous for a business, Ocab said.
People usually choose to abort from accessing the web site after three seconds when the page is slowly loading: “They hit the back button.”
Ocab raises the fingers on his left hand to tick off the basics of digital marketing: clear message, fast-loading, right design and the usability of the web site.
“The web site should also be mobile device-friendly.”
About 60 percent of customers today use smartphones in accessing web sites to look for products and services, he added.
But web-site visitors depend on the industry of the enterprise, he explained.
Most people use the smartphone when looking for a place to eat or have coffee. According to Ocab, desktop computers are still used by people in the offices.
“It pays to know which industry you are. But your web site should work with all devices: desktop computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets.”
SINCE technology is updated every now and then, sometimes in a blink of an eye, enterprises should update their web site regularly to keep it relevant, he explained.
Ocab had clients before whose existing web site was not optimized for mobile devices and accessible to users of computers only.
“Ten years ago, there were no smartphones yet,” he said. “People use computers to access the Internet during that time.”
Some of his clients’ web sites had obsolete web designs, which was bad for the reputation of the enterprise, he pointed out.
“Your web site reflects your image, especially if you are a tech company,” Ocab said, adding the site should be updated every two or three years.
An “un-updated” web site may also load its pages slowly due to an old code, he added.
“Code, like design, should be updated regularly due to new technology and fresh programming languages.”
He added the server should be fixed, if not optimized, for the web site, noting that an un-updated web site is attractive to hackers. Threat actors may put on the pages a content that is not from the site owner.
“Usually, hackers post on compromised web sites casino and pornographic site links,” he said.
Linking a web site to many other web sites can rank that web site higher on search engine results, he explained.
“An old web site is like an old operating system, which is susceptible to viruses.”
The web site is updated for security reasons, aside from functionality and looks, Ocab said.
Importance of SEO
SEARCH engine optimization (SEO) is a way of manipulating the search engine results, Ocab explained.
SEO could serve for an enterprise’s advantage or for the disadvantage of its competitors, he noted.
But manipulating search engine results to rank the competitors down is not a good idea, Ocab said. “It’s referred to as negative SEO.”
An enterprise can rank itself high on Google in an acceptable way by using on-page SEO and off-page SEO, he explained.
“The on-page SEO is basically how you optimize your code,” Ocab said. “So, your code is not only optimized to load your pages fast, but also for Google to consume your content well.”
Google does not see what are on the pages, he added. What Google sees is the code.
The off-page SEO is basically building links pointing to an enterprise’s web site, Ocab mentioned.
“Google gets the idea that a web site is authoritative by counting the number and quality of links pointing to it,” he said. “Not only the number, but the quality of web sites.”
When Forbes and other well-known and respected web sites link a web site, the latter’s ranking climbs, he added.
Wikipedia, for one, is an authoritative web site for being linked and cited by many other web sites as their source, Ocab said.
“When your web site is linked by many other and quality web sites, you rank higher on Google.”
PEOPLE who visit a web site are looking for a product or a service that has already interested them, he added. Unlike in social-media marketing, ads are posted for a general audience who are either interested in the product or not.
SEO laser-targets the consumers, while social-media marketing hits both consumers and non-consumers, Ocab explained.
When people search for a coffee shop on Google, it means they are already interested in coffee, or lovers of it, he said. So, the web-site visitors will potentially generate sale.
Once an enterprise ranks high on Google, it requires minimal effort to stay at the top yet still gets a lot of visitors for that particular keyword, Ocab said. He cited as example his own company, which settles itself on the first page of Google search engine when one keywords “SEO Philippines.”
“Keyword research is one of the important aspects in SEO.”
There’s a tool for determining the number of people searching for a particular keyword per month, he noted.
An enterprise has potentially high ROI when it is at the top on Google, he noted. The right keyword is the way.
CARL OCAB Digital Marketing’s first clients were based overseas since Ocab started to offer digital marketing services in 2008, when e-commerce in the country was still in its infancy stage. He was 13 years old at the time and his clients overseas were mostly small businesses.
Today, his clients are both based abroad and in the Philippines. Most of his local clients are small and medium enterprises. Some are established, others are start-ups.
Some of Ocab’s clients overseas, on the other hand, are also digital marketing agencies, like his company.
His company is outsourced by its counterparts abroad since the costs for web-site development and other services related to digital marketing in the Philippines are relatively lower, he said.
His company began to provide digital marketing services to Philippine-based enterprises just three years ago, when local businesses started to venture in e-commerce, Ocab said.
BUT when an enterprise wishes to quickly reach people and a broader audience, social-media marketing can do the job, especially when the product is not one that people are looking for, he explained.
“It especially works when you are marketing a new product,” he said.
When one has visited a web site, Lazada, for example, he could be pixel targeted on social media, Ocab pointed out. When the Lazada web-site visitors view his Facebook page afterward, a Lazada ad is already posted on his wall.
Social-media marketing has the capability to track accurate demographics of the target market, he noted.
“We create the ads and do the targeting,” Ocab said.
Ads on social media are sometimes attacked by trolls, he added. As a service provider, they quickly act for the client to manage the trolls.
Social-media marketing is one of the services offered by Ocab’s company.
Image credits: Oliver Samson